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Overnight Energy: Putin, Xi among leaders invited to White House climate summit | Kerry looks to private sector on climate change | White House reportedly canceled 50-person Interior Department party over pandemic concerns

Overnight Energy: Putin, Xi among leaders invited to White House climate summit | Kerry looks to private sector on climate change | White House reportedly canceled 50-person Interior Department party over pandemic concerns
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Today we’re looking at who scored an invite to the White House’s Earth Day climate summit, John KerryJohn KerryChina emitted more greenhouse gasses than US, developed world combined in 2019: analysis Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE’s belief that the private sector will be the one to solve climate change, and a reported Interior Department party that was allegedly called off by the White House. 

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BE OUR GUEST, BE OUR GUEST, PUT OUR CLIMATE TO THE TEST:  Putin, Xi among leaders invited to White House climate summit 

The White House on Friday announced a list of 40 world leaders it has invited to participate in a virtual summit on climate from April 22 to 23, including Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBiden 'confident' meeting with Putin will take place soon Blinken: US stands with Ukraine in face of Russian aggression Russia keeping 80K troops at border amid NATO exercise, US officials say MORE and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Who else got an invite? In addition to Xi and Putin, invitees include Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauPranksters trick Canadian lawmakers with fake Navalny aide: report Trudeau voices 'tremendous confidence' in AstraZeneca vaccine after first Canadian death linked to shot Biden, Harris, Harry and Meghan added to 'Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World' MORE, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“The Summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP,” the White House said in a statement Friday.

Why have I heard of this summit before? The Biden administration also pledged to announce its new Nationally Determined Contribution, its goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement, before the summit.

And what have these countries said on climate? Chinese officials have pledged to become fully carbon-neutral by 2060. Meanwhile, Russia, the fourth-largest emitter worldwide, announced an emissions-reduction plan of its own last year.

The plan calls for a 33 percent reduction by 2030 relative to 1990 levels, which the World Resources Institute said would improve on its then-current pledge of 25 to 30 percent but still represent a significant increase in emissions relative to 2020.

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As for the U.S.: Former President Obama set the goal of reducing U.S. emissions by between 26 and 28 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2025. The U.S. has not increased its commitments since then. 

Read more about the event here.

 

PUTTING HIS SETTINGS ON PRIVATE: Kerry says climate solution will come from private sector, not government

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday said he believed the private sector was more likely to find solutions to climate change than governments.

“I was convinced, and I remain convinced, no government is going to solve this problem,” Kerry said in remarks at the Institute of International Finance’s 2021 Washington Policy Summit.

“The solution is going to come from the private sector, and what government needs to do is create the framework within which the private sector can do what it does best, which is allocate capital and innovate and begin to take the framework that’s been created. ... We need to go after this as if we’re really at war.”

Aaand...there’s something in it for them: Kerry said the private sector will reap financial benefits from the energy transition.

“It’s a transition, yes, some people are going to have to do things differently and begin to shift expenditure, shift priority and infrastructure transition and so forth,” he said. “But in all of that, none of that happens without jobs ... without people working, whether it’s pipefitters, electricians, construction workers across the board.”

Kerry predicted a “race to the new technology, whether it’s direct-air capture or better and more affordable storage, more effective geothermal ... there are technology opportunities that are going to create enormous wealth for those that are venturesome and go out and chase those gold pots.”

Read more about what he had to say here.

 

POLITICAL PARTY? White House reportedly canceled 50-person Interior event over pandemic concerns

The White House scrapped a 50-person Interior Department party that had been planned to celebrate Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden officials unveil plan to conserve 30 percent of US lands and water | Watchdog questions adequacy of EPA standards for carcinogenic chemical emissions | Interior proposing revocation of Trump-era rollback on bird protections Biden officials unveil plan to conserve 30 percent of US lands and water Interior proposing revocation of Trump-era rollback on bird protections MORE’s confirmation, Politico reported Friday.

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Two sources told the news outlet that Interior chief of staff Jennifer Van der Heide wanted the event for the secretary’s friends and supporters, but that the White House’s Office of Cabinet Affairs canceled it before they were invited. 

A proposed catering menu seen by Politico said that the gathering was expected to have 50 attendees.

The White House officials reportedly raised concerns about both COVID-19 and the optics of such a celebration. 

What does the admin have to say? Spokespeople for the Interior Department and the White House declined The Hill’s request for comment.

An Interior spokesperson told Politico that “junior staff made soft inquiries for something that never happened.”

“That the new team conducted research and gathered estimates for potential future events and opportunities should not be shocking. There was no event at Interior,” the spokesperson said, adding that agency leadership has “diligently observed COVID protocols both in and out of the building.”

Read more about the reported plans here.

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WHAT WE’RE READING:

Drillers Burned Off Gas at a Staggering Rate as Winter Storm Hit Texas, The New York Times reports

Anti-corruption measures are crucial to clean energy, Illinois coalition says, according to Energy News Network

Businesses say upcoming Virginia Styrofoam ban will help environment, hurt budgets, 13NewsNow reports

The Intercept reports on “the Paraquat poisoning problem”

 

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ICYMI: Stories from Friday…

Putin, Xi among leaders invited to White House climate summit

Kerry: 'No government is going to solve' climate change

White House canceled 50-person Interior Department party over pandemic concerns: report

 

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